Bird Families

Masked lovebirds

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  • Description
  • Feeding
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A member of the parrot family that lives in Tanzania and Kenya in the savannah zone. Prefers small groves of acacias and baobabs, not far from water bodies, avoiding dense forests. Masked lovebirds gather in flocks of 20-40 birds. They reach a size of 15 cm. Sexual dimorphism in color is not expressed, females are slightly larger than males.

The masked black lovebird has a black-gray, monochrome color. Around the eyes, there are light-colored unfeathered areas of skin. The beak is red.

Life expectancy is 10-12 years.

Captivity in Europe began in the late 1920s, and several color variations of this species have been developed since then. For masked lovebirds, it is recommended to use a spacious metal cage 80x30x40 cm for one bird. To keep a pair of lovebirds, at least 100x40x50 cm is required. The optimum temperature is 20-25 ° C. In the cage, it is imperative to provide for a reservoir, because birds love to swim. It is recommended to equip the cage with swings, ladders, ropes and perches.

Lovebird masked black in our zoo complex:

They feed on plant seeds, vegetables, fruits, tree bark, and small insects. They can devastate crops of corn and wheat.

Lovebird maskedsent to a special shipping container... Depending on the number of birds in the order, the following transport cages are used for shipment:

The container is returnable (reusable), i.e. to be returned by the buyer. For reusable containers, its security deposit is charged (issued in a separate invoice), which is returned to the buyer after receiving from him an empty container in good condition.

Description

The first description of these birds was made by the German ornithologist Anton Reichenov in 1887.

This type of lovebird is considered by many lovers to be the most beautiful. The average weight of an adult is about 48-54 grams with a body length of 15-16 cm. Glasses around the eyes. The eyes are large, the iris is brown.

The predominant color of the plumage is green. The wings are dark green at the ends of black, 9 cm each. The beak is strong, large, red. The head is large and black. The chest and neck are yellow. The tail is short about 4 cm green, blue and black at the ends. The feet are gray.

The difference between the female and the male lies in the predominance of brown colors on the head.

Distribution in wildlife

They inhabit small areas of the African continent in Tanzania. Also, the masked lovebird was introduced and distributed throughout Burundi and Kenya.

They settle near the water source in the steppes or acacia groves with rare trees with an altitude of no more than 1400 meters above sea level. They keep in flocks, in which from 25 to 45 individuals.

They sleep and rest in small trees or bushes, returning to the same place every night.

In the wild, they usually feed on seeds of various plants, fruits, cereals of cultivated plants.

The number of the population of this species of lovebird is currently not known for certain, but the population trend is stable.

Maintenance and care

Despite the telling name, lovebirds are well kept alone. But it is worth noting that a solitary lovebird will have to devote more time.

These birds are very fond of free space. Lots of free space. Deficiency can lead to decreased bird activity or even obesity. The cage should not be clogged with toys and poles. The lovebird cage should be large. A rectangular cage is best. The size of the cage should be at least 65x45x55 cm.The distance between the bars is 1-1.5 cm.The distance between the rods should be respected, not so that the parrot does not fly out, but to avoid getting his head stuck between the rods. The ideal option would be if a climbing plant grows next to it.

Such equipment in the cage as feeders, and the cage itself must be made of durable material. Because a wooden one will not stand for a long time, being destroyed by the sharp claws and beak of a parrot.

A very important point in arranging a cage for a poppy lovebird is the availability of sufficient lighting. If the daylight hours are short during winter, the cage should be equipped with a lamp emitting soft daylight.

With regard to cell hygiene. Sanitation should be done as often as possible to reduce the risk that your bird will become sick or pick up parasites. It is better to select the cage so that its bottom can be easily pulled out, this will facilitate the cleaning process, and also relieve the parrot from unnecessary anxiety. You should not choose cages where the rods are made of copper. Over time, it, oxidizing, will release toxic substances that will harm the lovebird.

In the room where the parrot lives, you can not smoke, cigarette smoke is very harmful to parrots and leads to depression of the bird. The lovebird cage should contain three containers. One will contain food, the other will contain drinking water, and the third will contain special sand to improve digestion. The pole must be installed in such a way that when the bird is sitting on it, its droppings do not fall into these vessels. Containers with food and water should be cleaned regularly, so it is better that they are ceramic.

Features of the diet

The food for the lovebird is usually cereal mixtures. You can give millet. To provide the birds with vitamins, you can indulge in berries, fruits, and vegetables. Make sure your parrot has food at all times. In no case should you leave him hungry, even for a short time. The food must be balanced in order to maintain the activity of the parrot at the right level.

You should not feed the parrot with foods saturated with proteins from the common table. It can cause some diseases. During the nesting period, it is better to feed the masked lovebird with germinated grains of all kinds of crops or plant seeds.

Reproduction

Masked lovebirds are ready to breed at the age of 10 months. The breeding season is in March-August.

They nest in tree holes or in abandoned nests of other birds. Only the female is involved in the construction of the spherical nest. The duration of the nest building can take up to 2 weeks. The building material is carried in the beak. In this case, the male can accompany the female. The first egg is laid one week after mating. There are 3-4 eggs in a clutch, which the female incubates for 3 weeks. A male joins her at night.

After hatching from eggs, lovebird chicks are covered with a rare pinkish downy. Eyes open after 9-10 days, and flight from the nest is carried out after 36-39 days, while they spend about 2 more weeks in the nest.

Keeping and breeding lovebirds

Most lovebirds are kept in pairs or small flocks, they are easy to tame and do not cause much trouble. It is best to place the cage in a shaded area, away from drafts and heating appliances. It is advisable to let the parrots fly, stretch their wings. It is best to take chicks up to 3-4 months old, it is easier for them to adapt to new conditions. It is worth remembering that if you want to teach a parrot to speak, you need to keep it alone, birds that live with relatives are cool with classes. Lovebirds cannot be kept with other species of parrots, they are territorial. The size of the cage for one is 80x30x40 cm. Instead of bedding, calcined sand or white paper is used. Drinking bowls, feeders must be securely attached to the cage bars.Also put a bathtub for bathing - lovebirds love water procedures, as well as a cup of calcined fine river sand, chalk and mineral dressings. The perches should be comfortable and not too wide, and toys can also be placed in the cage.

As for feeding, you can give your pets a grain mixture (oats, millet, grass seeds, hemp and canary seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds), pieces of vegetables, fruits, herbs, berries are also useful. Lovebirds breed easily in captivity, the birds must be of the same species, since the offspring obtained from interspecific crossing will be sterile. The female lays 4-8 eggs, the incubation period is 3 weeks. After 8 weeks, the offspring becomes completely independent.

Interesting facts about lovebirds

  • Despite the beautiful legend, lovebirds can live alone. Even if a partner died in a bird, another can be added to her (or him), a new pair is formed. Although it should be noted that in nature, these birds do demonstrate fidelity,
  • Lovebirds quickly get used to people, are not afraid of them, answer the call, copy various sounds,
  • The British call these parrots "love birds", that is, "birds in love",
  • The life span of parrots is 10-15 years, they cannot be called long-livers.

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Appearance

The masked parrot is a small parrot, its body length is 15 cm, its weight is no more than 55 g. The body of the bird is green in color, the wings are slightly darker. The head is black, the chest and neck are yellow. The bird's beak is bright red, the legs are gray and small. The tail is short (about 4 cm), usually green, sometimes blue or black feathers are found. The parrot has rather large eyes with a brown iris.

Speech and sounds

This bird is not talkative or loud like other species. The lovebird's speech is a soft but long chirp and chirp. The parrot is not capable of imitating a person, repeating words. The sounds that the bird makes are indicative of its mood. With a good mood, they will be melodic, and a sharp cry indicates discontent.

Parrots' ability to speak and sound

Intelligence and character

The Masked Lovebird is an energetic and inquisitive creature. He will require a lot of attention, communication, loves to play. This parrot is difficult to train, you will have to train your pet from early childhood. If you keep two individuals, then it will be impossible to teach them anything. At the same time, lovebirds have a good memory, they will definitely be able to recognize the owner, they remember their name perfectly. They are able to independently leave the cage and return to it.

Life span

In captivity, a parrot will live for about 12 years, but only with good care. In the wild, birds rarely live to this age, as they are often exposed to diseases or attacks by predators. There is a myth that lovebirds should only be paired, this is not the case, the main thing is constant communication with the owner.

Wildlife habitat

In its natural environment, the masked lovebird is found in Africa, Tanzania and Kenya.

They live next to water bodies, in small flocks. They prefer low trees, and mostly steppe terrain. The parrot feeds on small insects, fruits, seeds.

Wildlife habitats

Cage requirements

Despite the small size of the bird, it needs a lot of space, so the cage should be large. The recommended size is 80x30x40 cm. It is best to choose nickel as the material for the enclosure, small plastic elements are allowed. But it is better not to consider wood, bamboo, copper and zinc.

Pay attention to the placement of the cage:

  • the room should be sufficiently lit and free of drafts,
  • direct sunlight is unacceptable on the parrot,
  • it is advisable to place the cage at a height of no more than half a meter from the floor,
  • no smoking in the room, the parrot does not tolerate the smell of tobacco smoke,
  • sometimes the door should be kept open so that the pet can walk around the apartment.

The cage must be equipped with toys (balls, mirrors, ropes, etc.), mineral stones and perches. They can be made independently from branches of apple, mountain ash or viburnum, pre-treated with boiling water. There should always be two drinking bowls with fresh water and feeders in the pet's dwelling. The bottom is best covered with sawdust. The aviary should be cleaned at least once a week.

Taming

The bird can become a real family friend, but it needs to be prepared for this. The domestication of a parrot takes place in two stages. The first is that the bird must get used to the new home and owner. After buying it, you need to put it in a cage, at first it is advisable not to make noise, to behave calmly. Do not disturb the bird again. When the lovebird begins to feel calm and confident, you can start taming.

This is a shy creature, so don't expect him to start playing with you right away. Initially, you can try to talk to him through the cage, then feed the parrot from your hand. If he takes food, then he is definitely ready for communication and education.

The next step is feeding directly from the palm of your hand. Over time, the parrot will begin to sit in your arms. At the same time, you need to talk to him in a calm, friendly tone. You can gradually connect toys. If the animal freely leaves the cage, but is not given into the hands, it must not be grabbed. This will scare the bird even more.

Lighting

The correct formation of the backlight plays an important role in the conditions of keeping lovebirds. The bird needs ultraviolet radiation. To meet this need, you will need a lamp with CRI (color index) parameters from 90 and K (temperature index) from 5000 to 5500. It is fixed at a distance of at least half a meter from the cage. Those who are planning to breed parrots should pay special attention to lighting. During this period, the bird needs a light regime especially acutely. If there are no windows in the room, then the owner himself must build daylight hours in summer for at least 14 hours, in winter - at least 12.

Diseases and prevention measures

Mostly, lovebirds have ailments due to violations in care. But sometimes problems can arise in a bird living in ideal conditions. Diseases can be infectious and non-infectious. If you keep a couple of parrots, the sick one needs to be urgently transplanted into another cage.

The main types of infectious diseases include:

  1. Psittacosis. Symptoms: diarrhea, lethargy, convulsions, belching.
  2. Salmonellosis. Dangerous not only for the pet, but also for the breeder, especially for children.
  3. Circovirus. It manifests itself in the loss of feathers, refusal to eat, immobility.
  4. Aspergillosis. Poor quality feed is the cause of this disease.

Among non-communicable diseases in lovebirds, the following are common:

  1. Coccidosis. It occurs as a result of contact with wild birds, irregularities in the diet, lack of fresh drink.
  2. Helminths. The cause of this disease is poor hygiene and poor quality products.

If your parrot starts to behave strangely, you should immediately contact your veterinarian. It is impossible to diagnose and prescribe treatment on your own. The owner can only comply with preventive measures.

  • the feeder and drinker must be renewed and washed daily,
  • do not give the bird water from the tap,
  • keep the cage clean,
  • when buying feed, you need to carefully study its composition,
  • do not leave your pet alone for a long time,
  • Have a routine check-up with your veterinarian at least once a year.

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